Diane Sawyer spoke to kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard tonight in a moving, heartbreaking, hope-filled two-hour interview that had my heart in my throat just five minutes in.
Dugard was kidnapped at just 11 years old by a convicted pedophile and his wife and held captive for 18 years -- a lifetime. During that time, Jaycee gave birth to and raised two daughters by her kidnapper.
With a whole lot of love between them, Dugard and her daughters survived the unthinkable. Their nightmare finally ended when two observant UC Berkeley campus cops reported her kidnapper after seeing him, Dugard's daughters in tow, acting strange on campus. Dugard and her daughters were found and reunited with Dugard's mother, Terry Probyn, in 2009. Since then, her perpetrators have been sentenced to prison.
There are no words to express how remarkable and inspiring Jaycee Dugard is after surviving such a harrowing experience. Here are 10 amazing messages of hope from her interview.
1. Survival is your strength, not your shame.
2. You just do what you have to do to survive.
3. Sometimes you have to hold onto any hope to survive.
4. I was still alive. There was still hope.
On telling her story:
5. Why not look at it? Stare it down -- until it can't scare you anymore.
6. Those things happened to her. They're not who she is.
On moving forward:
7. There's life after something tragic.
8. I don't feel like rage inside of me that's building ... I refuse to let [my perpetrator] have that. He can't have me ... He didn't get all of me.
9. I am so lucky and blessed for all the wonderful things I do have.
10. Even if it is just one thing or person you have to be thankful for, that is enough.
Jaycee Dugard's memoir A Stolen Life comes out Tuesday. She says she wrote the book, which has unflinching detail of her years in captivity, for other victims of sex abuse who often keep secrets, along with fear and shame.
Did you watch the Jaycee Dugard interview with Diane Sawyer? What was your takeaway?
Image via Amazon